Friday, 10 October 2014


The last couple of weeks at school have been a little stressful for me. The province has decided to do away with the provincial achievement tests of the past for grade three students. They will continue on and next remove them for grade six students. I'm not sure if it is going on to grade 9 or not. In their place they are doing  SLAs (Student Learning Assessments).

It hasn't gone too smoothly at all. From getting registered in the website, to setting up class lists (and being able to edit errors!) to actually administering the tests, it has been painful - from registering ourselves as teachers so we could even administer the tests to evaluating the results. Every step of the way we have had to take a step back and update technology, try different browsers, re- read the 30 page instruction documents, and wonder what exactly the questions are really asking and if all this time is worth the information we are gathering. Thank goodness we have had supportive admin to help us through this. I am pretty sure without them we would have totally abandoned the assessment.

The government website says: 

Alberta wants teachers and parents to have the best tools available for them to help improve student learning. One new tool is the Student Learning Assessment (SLA).
These assessments are digitally based and focused on literacy, numeracy, and the cross-discipline competencies of Inspiring Education. They take place at the start of the school year to enable both parents and teachers to identify student strengths and areas needing improvement.

As I was complaining about this whole process one day my principal wondered aloud what it is about teachers that we don't like change.
I had to chuckle. In some ways, he is right.
In other ways though, sometimes it seems like change for the sake of change.
We have had a change in our school this year. That hasn't been an easy change either. I mourn what we have lost more than looking forward to new changes, it seems.
I have been reading a great book: The Fourteenth Goldfish. That book talks about how important cycles are. Endings are really a beginning of something and should be considered exciting.
It makes me wonder what I need to be doing to make changes in my life more accepting and how to anticipate them with greater positivity.
How do I turn it into something great when it just feels disappointing and like it is all going in the wrong direction?
I don't know.
Must work on this.

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